Head of private brands | Turbo Wholesale Tires | Arcadia, Calif. | Age: 27
What was your first job in the industry?
Warehouse employee. I loaded and unloaded containers.
What attracted you to the industry?
My dad established Turbo Wholesale Tires, so I've been somewhat involved in the family business for as long as I can remember.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?
Shortly after coming into my role of developing private brands, we got hit with the pandemic and the anti-dumping rates. With the volatility of our industry and how quickly things can change, you have to always be three steps ahead.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My dad has had the biggest influence on my career. I've always looked up to him and wanted to take his company/legacy, and take it to the next level.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Creating 300 new SKUs in a 12-month period. This ranges from UHP, RT, AT, RunFlat, EV, etc.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
My duties differ day to day but my title is head of private brands, so I'm involved in product development, purchasing, marketing/branding, and so on. Over 75% of our business is our private brands. It's all about brand appreciation and creating established brands.
What's been the biggest surprise of your current job?
How challenging it has been, but also how rewarding it has been. I get to learn so much about the industry and work with such good mentors. It’s been very enjoyable.
Tell us about your family.
My Dad was born In Beirut, Lebanon in 1954. Aspiring to provide a better life for his family, my dad came to America on the hopes of the American Dream. He established Turbo Wholesale Tires in 1983 and the company has been growing every year since. He didn't do it alone. My Mom was key to the growth of Turbo as she was CFO of the company for 20-plus years. My sister is a CPA and worked for some of the biggest accounting firms before deciding to come to the family business. Now, we have second generation Sepetjians working at the family business to help grow our father's legacy.
In a single word, how would your friends describe you?
If you could switch jobs for a day, what job/who would you choose to swap with, and why?
I really enjoy my job, so it would be hard to tell. But I would love to switch roles to my previous job titles when I was working in the warehouse unloading containers. My dad made it his mission to create a work ethic in me that would help improve the business. He knew I had to start at the bottom to fully understand the business. That experience was humbling, and it showed me how important and difficult every department is in a company.
What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lawyer. I loved to argue and debate as a kid, so I thought I would be good at it. I'm very happy with what I currently do and am very excited about the future and my involvement in the company.
What goal did you set for yourself this year? Are you on track to reach it?
The goal was to create 300 active new SKUs in eight different segments, and we are on pace to reach that goal. However, the main goal was to continuously improve the brand and continue embedding the brand in peoples’ subconscious. We have done this by doing press releases daily, creating important sponsorships, and collaborating with the right partners.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Hopefully retired! But if not, I would love to continue to create brands and turn them into established recognizable tire brands.